My apologies for this review being so late. I had every intention of getting it done on Saturday but something came up, nothing serious, just something I needed to take care of. Before I knew it, the day and then pretty much the whole weekend got completely away from me. I haven’t even had the time to read one single review from any of the other bloggers I enjoy so much.
But then, such is life. Such is life. When things happen that you don’t expect. When things must be dealt with. When wonderful things happen and when the saddest of sad things happen too.
Back in Season 4 we first met Deb McGarrett, played by the incomparable, wonderful Carol Burnett, on Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful surprise for Steve and Mary to get a visit from the aunt who was surrogate mother to Mary and the only mother figure Steve had in the years after Doris McGarrett “died”. But when we found out she only came to Oahu to see Steve and Mary in order to “say goodbye” after her cancer diagnosis I was a more than a little upset.
Don’t get me wrong. I grew up watching the Carol Burnett Show and still have wonderfully warm memories of many Saturday nights with my parents laughing until our sides hurt. And I adored seeing her on my favorite show but I kept wondering… what’s the point of bringing her on only to have to go away and die? Why tease us with the appearance of this wonderful lady only to have to lose her to death. On top of that, hadn’t the McGarrett kids lost enough in their lives?
But it was such a great episode with warm touching moments and, of course, moments of fun watching her tease Steve over his tattoos, go turkey shopping with Mary and singing in Nicky’s club. When the screen faded to black on that wonderful episode I figured that was the last we’d see of Aunt Deb. It made me sad to think of the phone call Steve would get one day informing him that she was gone.
But then Season 5 came along and there was Aunt Deb, happily strolling down the gangway of a cruise ship with a smile and a hug for Steve and a fiancé on her arm. She’d decided to fight for her life after all and had found the love of her life as a result. Another episode which proved just how much she meant and how important she was in Steve’s life. The episode ended with everyone dressed to the nines for a beautiful beach front wedding and the hope that maybe, just maybe, this time, there might just be a miracle.
Alas, there was no miracle. Aunt Deb, now Deb Casano, returns once again to Oahu but this time there will be no happy ending. This time she’s there to scatter the ashes of her beloved Leonard, attempt to finish their bucket lists and to leave this earth in the loving presence of her family.
Just like in her two previous episodes, this one was filled with Deb’s warmth. Her touching farewell to Leonard as she stood in the spot where they took their vows and wearing her wedding dress, easily bringing a tear to the eye in the first few moments of the episode. Carol Burnett can still bring it even after all these years, there is no doubt about that. Watching Steve and Kawika sharing “ha” and a solemn embrace before Kawika paddled out to spread Leonard’s ashes, well let’s just say, tissue box opened!
But, also like in her previous appearances there was much joy surrounding her too. Her reference to Steve in his “camo diapers” and Steve’s delight that Aunt Deb now has “ink” were really cute. But watching Deb maneuver Steve’s Silverado, siren and lights blazing, through Oahu traffic with Steve turning decidedly green in the passenger seat and little Joanie teasing him to “puke… puke…puke” was the absolute highlight of the night. Finding out that Joanie’s cheerleading and Steve’s response to her were completely non-scripted made it even more perfect.
It’s something we don’t ever get to see. The McGarrett family. Loving, laughing, teasing each other, have a good time, being a real family. Aunt Deb gives them that and it is such a wonderful thing to see. Made it even more heartbreaking when I thought how this was the last time they would ever get to be together like this.
There were several great scenes where Deb attempted to complete her bucket list. I loved the scene between Deb and Nicky as they attempted to eat their way through every fried item on JJ Dolan’s menu. It was cute and funny the way Nicky was trying to convince Deb she should join him as his singing partner the next time she comes back to Oahu. The heartbroken look in Nicky’s eyes when Deb told him “there isn’t going to be a next time” echoed what the audience was feeling as well.
The same can be said about the “epic shopping spree” Deb took Mary and Joanie on. I love watching all three girls trying on beautiful clothes and modeling for each other to the soundtrack of “Money, That’s What I Want”. It was a wonderfully fun scene. But like the scene with Nicky, immediately tempered when, as Mary went to fetch the car, Deb went into the bank to do an “asset transfer”, crossing off yet another task from her list. “Make sure Mary and Joan are provided for.” I think I started my second box of tissues of the night at that point.
I think it’s a pretty safe bet for me to say that I am not the only one who knew, the moment Mary asked Steve to go upstairs and wake Deb for breakfast, what he was going to find when he opened that bedroom door. But what I didn’t expect was for Deb to open her eyes, look sadly, yet peacefully at Steve, give him a warm, brave little wave goodbye and pass right in front of his eyes. Oh my God…are the writes of this show trying to reduce me into a useless wet puddle! Well…. success guys! The look on Steve’s face, the crack in his voice as he said her name, his gentle touch as he brushed her hair off her face, all of it, done as only Alex can, did me completely in. Thank goodness I thought ahead and had that second box of tissues on hand.
Reaching over to the bedside table, retrieving Deb’s bucket list and seeing her last wish, “climb a really tall mountain”, left undone, Steve, Mary and Joanie do the only thing they could do. They completed that last task for her, taking her ashes to one of the highest peaks on Oahu. What a wonderful, touching, emotional and perfect goodbye to such a fantastic lady.
Aloha Aunt Deb. I’m so glad we had this time together.
Oh yeah… there was a crime of the week this week too, wasn’t there? It was a pretty interesting story that brought us back, once again, to the history of what happened on Oahu during World War II, before and after Pearl Harbor. I do have to agree with Lou though. Although I love the convoluted stories weaved by our great writers, I could “hardly keep up” with this one. The story of “Operation Fugo” and the Japanese attempt to drop bombs via weather balloon is something that actually happened. I love it when our show takes true events of the past and weaves them into interesting, exciting modern day stories.
I especially liked how everyone was able to contribute to solving the crime. Jerry was instrumental, once again, in digging through old files to find just the information needed to crack the case. His delight at being able to read through unredacted Navy files from the 1940’s was adorable. Oh and can I say, as a person who worked in a windowless office for over 12 years I absolutely adore Jerry’s new “view”. Also, I really want to know if the “Jerry Alert” will be available for Android soon because I want it! LOL
I also really liked that Eric was part of this case as well. I don’t give a damn what anyone else says about him, I just love Eric. I wish half the people I have to deal with every day in my work were one half as enthusiastic about their jobs as he is. Not to mention he’s damn good at it too. Yes…yes… I loved Charlie Fong too. And I do wish there was a way for us to have him back. But if we can’t have Charlie, I am more than happy to see as much of Eric as I can.
There was also a really great scene in this episode between Steve and Kono. Steve asking Kono how she’s doing and also how Adam is making out in Halawa. It was nice to hear that Adam is keeping his head down and not suffering because he’s married to a cop. I have always loved, ever since Season 1, any time Steve and Kono spend one-on-one time together. Their relationship has always been something special.
On a lighter note, I really loved the opening scene between Chin and Abby. Waking up draped in only sheets, sprawled all over the floor and furniture after an epic night of “knockin’ ‘em” and mai-tais was adorable. I have said this before; I do not really ship couples on this show. I think the personal relationships should always be background stories, not the main stories on the show. I have liked every couple pairing there has been on this show and I like this one too. If it stays, if it ends, is really not here or there for me. I’m going to enjoy it while I can even if it won’t be the center of my existence where the show is concerned.
Finally, there was no Danny in this week’s episode. It my count is correct, there should be only one more episode after this one where Danny won’t make an appearance. While I totally understand the reasons behind these episodes and I bear no grudge against Scott for wanting to spend more time with his family (as a matter of fact, I applaud him for it) I do wish the writers would acknowledge his absence in the dialog.
For instance, last week, Abby was not in the episode. When Chin showed up at the crime scene, Lou asked him “No Abby?” to which Chin responded that she had to go back to San Francisco for a few days. Two line of dialog, less than 2 seconds of screen time and it was established where she was and why she wasn’t’ there. If Abby, essentially just a multiple episode guest star gets an explanation, why doesn’t Danny who’s the second most important character on the show? No offense guys, but Danny deserves better and it’s not all that difficult to do.
So there we are. Another great episode in the books. Again, I’m sorry for the delay this week. Hopefully next week will be better. Have a wonderful week my friends.
Aloha… Malama Pono